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Speaker Expressed Concern Over A Report Indicating About 35m Children Impacted By Malnutrition

By: Abba Bashir; TSIBIRI

Speaker House of Representatives Dr. Tajuddeen Abbas has expressed concern over a report which indicated that Nigeria has about 35 million children under the age of five years impacted by malnutrition.

He made the expression while inaugurating the House Committee on Nutrition and Food Security at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

Represented by his Deputy Mr Benjamin Kalu, the Speaker confirmed that according to statistics of the 35 million children, 12 million are stunted, three million are wasted while 23.5 million suffer from anemia.

He said additional 17.7 million individuals are facing hunger, 2.6 million children confronting severe acute malnutrition in 2024 stressing that 7% women of childbearing age, are experiencing severe acute malnutrition and the figures may exacerbate due to the current food inflation rate, which stands at about 33.7%.

The Speakaer who emphasized the importance of the Committee in achieving the vision of the House urged members of the committee to be responsive, results-oriented and effective in performing their constitutional mandate to restore the security and welfare of Nigerians.

“According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) about 26.5 million Nigerians would be grappling with high levels of food insecurity in 2024, while the country is said to have the second highest burden of malnutrition in the world, with 32% children under the age of five stunted or chronically malnourished”, he said.

Dr. Abbas Tajuddeen, further revealed that the World Food Programme’s September 2023 publication of the ‘Nigeria Hunger Map’ estimates that 24.9 million Nigerians are in an acute or critical stage of hunger, categorized as an emergency, while 85.8 million Nigerians have insufficient food consumption.

The food and nutrition crisis affecting Nigeria as a nation is partly caused by global warming and climate change, pervasive insecurity across the country which prevents farmers and herders from engaging in their various agricultural activities, poor irrigation, outdated land tenure system, crude and traditional farm practices on subsistence levels as well as a myriad of other challenges.

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